Chester3 Jude

Found: Sunday March 4, 2012 near Holly Hill, SC

Adopted: Sunday March 4, 2012 by Shannon Blake

Renamed: Dundun Borges

Colleague and friend Shannon Blake mentioned that she was thinking of getting a puppy for her 5-year-old son. “Done,” I said, and I set off the following weekend to find the Blake puppy. And, yes, it took me all weekend.

On Friday, I went to the city of Columbia animal shelter (Columbia Animal Services), and caught up with my friends there. They said that they had some wonderful adoptable dogs (and they do; I walked a couple of them), but they didn’t have young puppies, and Shannon was looking for a puppy that would grow alongside her son.

Next, I went to Chesterfield, SC to Sandy Crest Kennels, where one of my rescue partners, Whitney, boards and vets dogs from kill shelters in the South before taking them to New York. I knew Whitney would have some puppies and that freeing up space would allow her to pull more in need. I also wanted to visit, because she had talked to me about fostering the following adult dog:

A midnight black Cocker Spaniel — with one eye. I was salivating over him.

Scott: “No.”

Me, wailing: “But I‘ve never had a one-eyed dog! I need a one-eyed dog. I’ll get him an eye patch and call him Captain Jack Sparrow” (I am on “J” in literary names, after all — um, is Johnny Depp’s CJS based on a literary character? Tracy Bealer?).

Scott: “No.” — though he sounded intrigued.

Me: “Or Captain Jack . . . Spaniel?”

I knew that Scott would be unable to resist this face (or those furry legs):

But alas: By the time I got to Chesterfield, Captain Jack had found a girlfriend. At first, he would let no one touch him, which is why Whitney contacted me; she knows I love “Heathcliff” dogs, the hard cases. He warmed up quickly, though, to one of the ladies at SCK and was literally eating out of her hand and growling at me. Thus, I decided to let him spend his remaining time in SC with his new girlfriend, before he heads north, rather than uproot him again. He seemed very appreciative:

I turned my attention to the pups: cute black and white Spaniel mixes. Unfortunately, they were all recuperating from a nasty cold, and they needed to stay at SCK for awhile to finish their medication.

I had to get a puppy for Shannon asap. Her little boy was waiting for his pup!

Knowing that there are ever-so-many puppies in need of homes, I decided to find a pup that needed a home right away. So, I went to the Kershaw County Animal Shelter in Camden. They had pups, but all of their pups were on hold for days. They were unwilling to release them until they had been vetted properly.

Day 1 of the Blake puppy search: Fail.

On Day 2, I visited a Chesterfield County rescue, but the person in charge wouldn’t let me take one of her pups without filling out an application and being approved. SIGH. I’ve never had such a hard time getting my hands on a pup . . .

. . . until Day 3. Dejected, I sat down at my computer Sunday morning, remembering what Dr. Hutto, the local vet, had told me. He explained that Holly Hill is the perfect place for me. A rural area, Holly Hill has a stray dog problem (hello Izzy). He said that there are always strays in need of care, and litters being born and dumped.

I remembered that, and I looked on a community web page, and sure enough: a farmer about twenty minutes from my house was asking for help. Someone had dumped a litter of six puppies on his farm: one had passed away, two were having trouble walking, and three were healthy and in need of homes — asap. He didn’t want to take them to the pound. I knew I had found the Blake puppy.

As my Chester J3, I decided to name him Jude, as in Thomas Hardy’s Jude the Obscure. After all, he was difficult enough to find. And, like Jude, his story thus far had been unfortunate, to say the least.

* For the record, I’m not a fan of Jude the Obscure — reading it made me want to gouge out my eyes with the pen I used to annotate it — but to this day I’m convinced that the definition of “ridiculously tragic” (Hardy’s forte) is the following image of Jude: always wanting to go to the University, Jude instead stands outside of the University, selling cookies shaped like it. *

I was very excited to see Jude when I met his sister:

Jackpot,” I thought. Clearly an Australian Shepherd mix: fluffy, colorful, cute. And then I met Jude:

“He looks like a pig,” I said. The straw didn’t help. Shannon had said she wanted a boy. I looked at Arina, who had already scooped him up.

“He’s so cute!” Arina said.

Me, doubtful: “Uh huh.” And, then, I thought that on the plus side, he wouldn’t shed as much as his prettier long-haired litter mates.

So, I told the farmer that we’d give a good home to Jude. I looked at him again . . .

. . . and phoned Shannon as soon as we left. “The girl is so pretty,” I told Shannon. “And the boy?” she asked. “Helookslikeapig,” I blurted out. And then I tried to describe him — the pink around the eyes and nose, the red markings on his face that sort of look like bags under his eyes. “My mother would say that he’s so ugly, he’s cute,” I said hesitantly; then, hating myself, I said, “I’ll go back and get the girl, if you want.” Thankfully, though, Shannon was intrigued by the boy.

Her first words after seeing him: “He’s ADORABLE!” And, I have to admit, I think that he’s much more handsome as Dundun Borges (his new name) than he was as Jude the Obscure. Here he is, a more confident pup already, now that he knows he’s home and loved:

Here he is, being sweet:

And being curious (I wonder how pine straw tastes?):

And being playful (yes, I think I will use your hand as a chew toy, thank you very much):

And being . . . just . . . pretty darn adorable:

Forgive me, Dundun, for not recognizing that blue eyes, with red diamond patches, and a speckled nose is the height of adorableness. And thank you, Dundun, for reminding me that love is transformative. You went from a scared pig to a handsome pup, though kudos to the Blakes for recognizing your adorableness from Day 1. But, then again, recognizing your adorableness from Day 1 is something that the family to which you belong will always be able to do.

Congrats, Blakes, on your newest addition! And best of luck, Dundun Borges! You deserve it!

One Response to “Chester3 Jude”

  1. Merrell Says:

    You should see him now! He’s HUGE and soo playful. My two couldn’t get enough of him. Now…if only she can teach him to climb steps and get into cars.

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